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Last Updated: 17/03/2018 08:03:02 pm
Gulan-media - Erbil health facing critical supply shortages
Erbil health facing critical supply shortages
Date: 31/12/2017 : 15:27:20141 Views

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The general manager of Erbil Health Department says they are in need of 160 billion dinars every year and their medical supplies have recently been cut off by Baghdad.

Baghdad stopped delivering Erbil’s share three months ago on the grounds that there is no route or the security situation has deteriorated, according to Dr. Saman Barzinji.

Barzinji told Anadolu Agency that they are in need of 160 billion dinars every year to provide services to patients.

Last year, Iraq’s health minister visited Erbil “and I gave her a list containing the needs of the KRG and she promised to send them. But she has not fulfilled her promise yet,” Barzinji explained.

“We hope the Iraqi government takes care of the health sector of the Kurdistan Region and 2018 will be better.”

Iraq's Health Minister Adila Hamud told Rudaw that they "have never stopped even for a day sending the Kurdistan Region's share of medicine and medical supplies."

“The objective of the ministry is to provide medical supplies for the people of Iraq everywhere in the land of Iraq," she said.

She acknowledged, however, that her government has not fully been "committed" to sending the Region's 17 percent share of medicines.

Barzinji had told Rudaw in November that Baghdad has failed not only to send the Region’s share of medicine but also medicines for IDPs, thus forcing Kurdish health officials to purchase using loans $100 million in medicines from private companies.

He also called on neighboring countries “to support the Kurdistan Region in this regard by sending medicines and medical supplies.”

Some 1.4 million IDPs and refugees are currently sheltering in the Kurdistan Region’s refugee camps and in cities.

Barzinji believes the Iraqi government has to take this matter into account.

“If we notice, we see that 60 percent of the patients at maternity hospitals are refugees,” he said. “If we also watch the Nanakali hospital, designed for cancer diseases, 50 percent of the patients are again refugees.”

The refugees also receive medical services at 26 refugee camps, he said, adding the Region has been gripped by a bitter economic crisis for three years now.

Kurdish officials say the Iraqi government stopped sending Erbil its full 17 percent share of medicines in 2014, when they began reducing the amount in the midst of a wider budget dispute.


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